by Elizabeth Eulberg
I think it’s no secret that I have been in a killer reading slump of some odd sort, whether it is the lack of motivation on my part or just a loss of interest in reading and blogging in general… anyway, today was such a gorgeous day and I was determined to sit still and read a book, goddammit!
Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.
It took me a lot of picking and choosing before settling on Take a Bow, I had a faint idea what the mood of the book will be, and I thought it fit what I was looking for perfectly—and it did. I am so, so glad.
Take a Bow is so adorable. It is lovely and seamless and made me smile like a maniac by the end of it. It is predictable yet a very enjoyable read and I’m debating how much I want to pick apart the book. I feel like the good part of Emme is also the bad part because the author made her incredibly sympathetic and as a result, she is kind of too perfect for my liking (apart from being a doormat for Sophie, which I admit, is quite a big flaw). I got a tad annoyed reading about how freaking selfless and nice and pretty she is.
That said, pretty much all the characters made me happy (or I'm just a serious mood reader), even the terribly flat Sophie, because I just felt like I was able to walk into their lives and sit in the corner and watch everything unfold—it was that kind of feeling when I was reading. I liked reading about the supporting cast but I did feel like many secondary characters lacked dimension. The story is told from four characters’ POV, which was a device I was initially wary about but turned out to work. I liked how Eulberg wrote the dialogue for Carter’s parts and I was very fond of Ethan’s pining for some reason, too. I felt while the different narrators had their own story arc, the story is still undeniably focused on Emme, which I liked.
Honestly, this is a very good “surface” read. Not necessarily shallow, but.. you know.. don't think too hard and you'll like it type of read. It was perfect for my mood because I just wanted a feel-good, predictable novel. I thought the plot was engaging and it included enough bumps and twists that never made me too emotionally traumatized but kept everything interesting. The writing started off quite clunky, but quickly picked up its flow and just took off from there. Eulberg is an author I hope to read more of.
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: contemp fans!
8/10 – because Take a Bow is kind of the perfect book if you’re in the mood to be happy. Not too deep but with a fun plot, sympathetic characters and some very adorable angst. Yes, that’s a thing, ADORABLE ANGST because I seem to be obsessed with calling this book adorable. Go read it!
author website / twitter / facebook
ps- excuse this poorly written, ramble-fest review. I'm sorely out of practice and too lazy to completely edit it.